Published on 25th July 2013

Gottingen coat of arms

Visit 27 July - 2 August 2013

Cheltenham will host more than 120 German visitors when they arrive this weekend from the twin town of Göttingen . Organised by Cheltenham Borough Council, highlights include: a welcome reception in the wonderful grounds of the Cheltenham Ladies College ; a summer concert hosted by the Cheltenham German Club; a visit to Bourton on the Water; trips to Cardiff, Cheddar Gorge and the city of Wells; and guided walking tours of the town.

The week – known as the ‘Göttingen Festival’ – runs from 27 July until 2 August 2013.  Many of the visitors coming over have formed firm friendships from previous visits and will be staying with their friends; others have chosen to stay in one of Cheltenham's hotels.

Music is an important part of the twinning exchange and this is celebrated with a summer concert on 30 July, hosted by the German Club, bringing together singers and musicians from both Cheltenham and Göttingen.   For those who like contemporary improvised jazz, jazz musicians from both towns have for the third time put together a week of jazz entertainment entitled ‘The Week of Small Miracles’, performing together throughout the week at two local venues, Meantime Project Space on Oxford Passage and G's Bar in Bath Road. 

Representatives from the Göttingen History Society will be meeting with members of Cheltenham History Society and strong links are being formed with the German Club in Cheltenham –set up for people to learn more about the German language and culture -  who have been very proactive in helping to organise this visit.

Councillor Wendy Flynn, Cheltenham ’s mayor, is looking forward to meeting the visitors, she said: “It’s an honour for me, as mayor, to welcome our friends from the beautiful town of Göttingen . We formed this link 62 years ago and it continues to grow over time. I’d like to thank all the local families who are offering hospitality to our guests for the week and also those who have been involved in organising what I am sure will be a memorable and enjoyable stay.’’

Also as part of the programme, an officer from Göttingen’s waste recycling plant will be exchanging info rmation, knowledge and best practice with officers from the council’s environmental services provider, Ubico, on topics such as street cleaning, grounds maintenance, waste and recycling collections.

The deputy mayor of Göttingen, Ulrich Holefleisch, representing the Green Party, will head the group of 130 people.   Herr Holefleisch said: ‘’For a long time now we have been looking forward to a wonderful week here in the magnificent Cotswolds.  We are united in the desire to show how important our now 62 year old partnership remains.’’


Photo opportunities are available throughout the visit

Further information can be provided, contact Annette Wight, twinning officer, 01242 264311.

For press enquiries, contact:

Katie Sandey, communications team leader, telephone 01242 775050, email [email protected]


Cheltenham has been twinned with Göttingen in Lower Saxony since 1951.
These large scale visits started in 1976 and take place every 2 years alternating between Cheltenham and Göttingen. The last Cheltenham Festival visit to Göttingen took place in July 2011. An active programme of smaller visits and exchanges continues to take place throughout each year.